The Kimberley Dynamiters used a third-period comeback to edge the Creston Valley Thunder Cats 4-2 to open the 2014 KIJHL regular season at the Kimberley Civic Centre Saturday night.
“We were a little nervous at the start,” said Dynamiters head coach Jerry Bancks following the game. “The second period, [Creston Valley] won a lot of puck battles and kind of outplayed us.
“In the third period, we responded really well and we were the team that we need to be.”
Kimberley product Jordan Roy broke in alone with 8:34 to play, sliding a backhand shot past Creston Valley goaltender Brock Lefebvre to give the Nitros a 3-2 lead that would hold through the end of the final frame.
“I got a nice pass from [Jason] Richter and was lucky to pop it five-hole,” Roy said Saturday night. “It was nice to get the first goal out of the way.”
The 16-year-old Nitro returned to Kimberley after spending some time in Kennewick, Wa. at training camp with the Tri-City Americans. The Kimberley native is looking forward to a strong season here at home and is doing his best to stay focused on employing a strong work ethic.
Roy’s tally capped a third-period Kimberley comeback that started when forward Austin Hancherow made good on a turnover in Creston Valley territory. Hancherow walked in all alone on Lefebvre, burying a wrist shot blocker side to tie the game 2-2.
Marco Campanella added an insurance marker with 6.9 seconds to play, icing the win for the Dynamiters.
“It’s great to have Jordan and Coy [Prevost] back,” Bancks said. “They both played extremely well tonight. They obviously have some things to learn but they’re big, strong, powerful kids. They’re as strong as 20-year-olds and they proved it out there tonight. They won a lot of battles.
“It’s great to help them try to move along to the next level. I know they’re both hoping to play in the Western League in the future. It’s our responsibility to help them along the way.”
Creston Valley ended Kimberley’s post-season in Game 7 of the second round of the KIJHL playoffs last year. This was the first time the two teams met since.
“In this league, every game is going to be a big win,” Bancks said. “I didn’t want them to focus a whole lot on what took place last year. It was a pretty negative final end to the season. I just wanted them to control what we can control. I know deep down inside the guys wanted to take it to them, so it was nice that we did it.”
The Thunder Cats got out to a quick start in the first period. Defenceman Austen Steger threw a harmless looking shot towards the net from the left point that caught Dynamiters goaltender Tyson Brouwer by surprise. The shot eluded the Nitros netminder to give Creston Valley an early 1-0 advantage.
Jason Richter responded shortly thereafter for the home team, wiring a wrist shot home on the power play.
Jaret Bordt deflected a shot from the point late in the second period to break a 1-1 tie, giving the Thunder Cats a 2-1 lead heading into the final frame.
Brouwer made 30 saves on 32 shots to claim the victory for the Dynamiters.
Lefebvre stopped 25 of 28 shots in the loss for the Thunder Cats.
The Dynamiters will look to make it two wins in a row to start the regular season when they host the Columbia Valley Rockies Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.
The Thunder Cats will try to bounce back Sept. 18 when they travel to Golden to face the Rockets.